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2013 MBR Study

The emergence of the dreaded MBRs (Multi-Bye-Rounds) in 2012 was, for the most part a frightful twist in the story that was AFL Dream Team this season. McRath has delved into the depths to pull out a theory that would give us our 2013 MBR Draw.

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The emergence of the dreaded MBRs (Multi-Bye-Rounds) in 2012 was, for the most part a frightful twist in the story that was AFL Dream Team this season. Whilst a small number of coaches escaped the period with little carnage and few donuts, the large majority would be very happy to simply erase those 3 weeks of their Dream Team coaching careers from their memories forever (much like poor Brett Ratten would like to do the same for that ominous week last month).

The preseason was rife with speculation, theorising and stress as to just how we could safely navigate those chaotic few rounds. The main thing it meant was that we were effectively restricted to a maximum of 2-3 premium players (per position) from each MBR so as to not cop too many donuts in any given week. However despite careful planning and strategic selections – in some cases, this all counted for squat. Now, with many astute coaches already pre-planning for their 2013 assaults on the Dream Team competition – I thought I’d have a look at what kind of carnage we may be faced with in 2013.

2012 Structure

After looking at the way each team was allocated a R11, 12 or 13 bye round in 2012 – it got me thinking about 2013 and whether the AFL will employ a similar strategy for its season. Keeping a few important things in mind to ensure there is ‘equality’ amongst these rounds with a fair amount of high-performing teams playing in any given week, I came up with the following:



Looking at the above table, I’ve colour-coded the teams as per their 2011 position that has what I believe to have been taken forward to help create an even spread across the three rounds for the 2012 season.

This saw teams 4, 9, 10, 14, 15 and the new franchise GWS pooled into Round 11 in what was what I would consider the ‘softest’ draw with only 1 x top 8 team included.

Round 12 had teams 1, 2, 7, 8, 11 and 13 sit out – with Collingwood, Geelong, Sydney and Essendon being the most DT relevant teams grouped up.

Finally, in what was arguably the most difficult for DT coaches, teams 3, 5, 6, 12, 16 and 17 all had the week off in Round 13 and gave us many headaches in our Forward and Backlines.

Looking Forward to 2013

Using the same structure from 2012, I carried it forward to see what we might be looking at for the upcoming season. With a very different looking final ladder from 2011 and 3 different finalists (Freo, North and Adelaide replaced Carlton, St Kilda and Essendon in the 8), the same system would create a very different mix of teams across the byes whilst still maintaining a good spread of exciting clashes during each round.

By this way of thinking, in 2013 we could see the following occur:

Round 11 would see the following teams synced up: Collingwood, St Kilda, Carlton, Port, Bulldogs and GWS. This would see popular picks like Swan, Beams and Pendles missing the same week as Murphy, Gibbs, Hayes, Boyd and Ebert.

Round 12 could then see these teams sharing a week off: Hawks, Crows, Freo, North, Essendon and Brisbane. This would mean that Buddy, Danger, Thompson, Barlow, Pav, Watson and the RedRockBerger combo would all be out at the same time.

Finally, Round 13 would have these teams pooled together: Sydney, West Coast, Geelong, Richmond, Melbourne and Gold Coast – which means, JPK, LeCras, Stevie J, Chapman, Jelwood, Cotchin, Martin, Lids and Gablett would all be in the stands together.

Whilst looking at the initial lists it seems like a bit of a train wreck waiting to happen, but in my opinion it may actually work out better than 2012. With less major DT teams pooled together (think Hawthorn, Carlton and Richmond this year), this model would see (in my opinion) an easier road to selection for our upcoming season. Another thing of note is that from an AFL point of view, there would be at least one team from every state playing in any given round with Port and Adelaide; Brisbane and Gold Coast; GWS and Sydney; and Freo and West Coast all pooled in a different week.

One thing is for sure: whatever happens when the official AFL Fixture for Season 2013 is released late October, it will have a big impact on who we select in our sides for next year.

What do you think? Would this be preferable to 2012’s pools of teams? Do you have any theories on how the AFL will choose the teams and byes? Let us know in the comments below and go forth in discussing your thoughts. Also, check out my possible team to work in the byes for Season 2013 below.

Until a later date,


Who loves a number? McRath loves a number! Not only does he crunch the numbers for his own team, he is an integral member of the DT Talk team across the season providing heaps of great content! Follow him on Twitter: @McRathDT.



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    September 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Sounds like a good theory. If it eventuates it will mean that I can’t have the Premo mids I want, unless I sacrifice one round. Thanks for your hard work so far this pre-season McRath. It’s articles like this that are worth reading, and that’s why I come to DT Talk.

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    September 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Cheers mate – happy to help. All eyes will be on the draw when its released.

    Here’s also hoping for a big Carlton (sorry, Malthouse) v Collingwood matchup to start the season!

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    September 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Awesome article mate and I miss AFL Dream Team.

    Can’t wait for 2013 to arrive

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    September 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Do we know for sure we’re going to have more or less the same bye setup we had this year, as opposed to 2011?

    If everything stays as it is, I’ll spread my premo’s out over the byes, and then wait until the end of PS to see what rookies we’ve got to work with.

    Not overly worried about putting up a perfectly balanced team first up, and even then I think I’m willing to leave that until fairly late in the piece. The trades are more or less forced on you by that stage of the year anyway.

    I just really, really, really hope that we get a better selection of premium defenders in 2013 though, it sucked donkey balls to have such a limited selection of viable options, because of the byes.

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      September 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      Yeah AFL have confirmed it.

      In regards to the article it feels like too much guesswork to me. I highly doubt the teams are chosen on ladder position. All we really know is that WC/Freo, Adel/Port, Bris/GC and Syd/GWS will be separated.

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    September 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Read the exact same thing on FanFooty yesterday!!!
    Hello Matty411…. lol
    Makes enough sense imho. but AFL and making sense….I dunno! ;)

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    September 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    How many players do you reckon dropped off or lost interest in Dreamteam after the multi bye rounds this year?

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    September 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Great work, i’ll just be picking the best team (that i think) and will hope for the best :)

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    What the bejeebers

    September 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I am gonna pick whoever I want not taking into account the bye rounds. This is because this year when we ‘planned’ I dont think anyone came out on the good side of things, only the people who didnt plan got alright scores.

    And by the way, I am not trying to be like a hater or anything like that, but wouldnt it be difficult to construct a full playing midfield with 4 people in the round 13 bye??

    But thanks for the write McRath!!!

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      September 15, 2012 at 5:09 am

      Noone came out on the right side of the byes, but I think it’s fairly safe to say that those who prepared for it the best, came out of the byes the best.

      Don’t ignore the byes.

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        September 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm

        Yep. I don’t understand the logic of most people. I planned well but got unlucky at selection. But if I didn’t plan well and still got unlucky then I’d be in a whole heap of trouble. Control what you can control.

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      September 23, 2012 at 10:26 am

      I’m going to make sure that I have 2 players with byes in each position (excluding rucks) and that I have no more than 2 players from each team in the same position.

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    September 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I think that my team will go good in the MBR this year coming up because in 21 drafted players (everyone but my rookies) I have got 14 different teams with the most being 3 form Carlton

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      September 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm

      Its awesome your planning this far out from the season mate, but you cant possibly know who will be in your team come lockout 2013. Prices arent even released yet and the bye structure is all guess work at this stage. Monty’s fanplanner is a rough guide and you’ll get a rude shock when prices are released and you cant have that 5 premo midfield your planning=P

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    September 25, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Maybe they should just pick names out of a hat, I don’t really know. Great article anyway.

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    October 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    As expected this was a thorough waste of time. 4/18 correct, worse than the laws of probability!

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